Would you rather live in bondage or freedom?
Forgiveness – vs – Unforgiveness
We all have a choice of forgiveness, for better or worse. Which path will you choose today?
I’ve spent 49 years in unforgiveness and bitterness. And it nearly destroyed my life. Don’t let this happen to you.
To forgive or not to forgive that is the question. As you want any journey in life, you’ll find yourself at the fork in the road at some point. You need to decide for yourself which way you will go. Both ways may very well take you to the same destination, but one will take a little longer than the other. Or one of the ways will take you in a different direction all together and form your desired and intended destination.
It is always your choice whether you will choose forgiveness or unforgiveness.
I was so angry and bitter that I chose to hate my parent. The bitterness was so sour inside me, I allowed it to eat me up. I allowed darkness to take over my spirit and my soul. It destroyed me mentally and physically. And my life will never be the same because of it.
Don’t take the fork in the road that leads away from forgiveness. Instead take the way that leads to forgiveness.
Stop and take a moment to breathe and remember you were also forgiven. Consider the power of forgiveness. It is an act of pardoning and offender. It is an act of extending mercy. The act of canceling deserved punishment. Forgiveness is freely extending mercy to someone who has offended you. But we must realize that we are only hurting ourselves not the other person.
Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. We have to forgive and let go, to dismiss and cancel the debt.
- The releasing of something owed to you.
- Letting go of a grievance you may have against another.
Consider the bondage of unforgiveness.
- Leads to bitterness, resentment, anger, hatred, and often regret.
- It is a form of bondage.
- It is holding a grudge against another.
- It is the inability to let go of the hurt or pain.
- Often result in physical issues. Such as sickness, chronic pain, cancer, ulcers, and blood pressure issues.
- It often results in broken friendships, broken relationships, and broken marriages.
- It is a sin that can cause punishment.
Do you put limits on forgiveness?
In Matthew 18, we find Peter asking Jesus a question about forgiveness.
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sends against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, A man who owed him 10,000 bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master order that he and his wife and all his children and all that he had be sold to pay the debt. As a servant fell on his knees before him. Be patient with me you begged and I will pay back everything. The Servant’s master took pity on him, cancel the debt and let him go.”
“But when the servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him 100 silver coins. He grabbed a man and began to choke him. Pay back what you owe me! He demanded. His fellow servant I hope you have knees and beg him be patient with me and I will pay you back. But he refused, instead, he went off and had a man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told her master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. You wicked servant he said, I cancel all your debt because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant guesses I had on you? In anger his master handed him over to the jailers be tortured, until he should pay back all that he owed. This is how the heavenly Father will treat each of us unless we forgive our brothers and sisters from our hearts.
Not surprisingly after I forgave my parent with all my heart things began to improve in my life.
Peter might have thought he would get a positive response from Jesus when he asked you just about forgiving someone up to seven times.
Peter would have known the rabbinic teaching: A person must be forgiven three times and on the fourth time they did not need to forgive the person anymore. This teaching was taken from the book of Amos where God was seen to forgive me three times but not the fourth. Yeah idea is that if God only for game three times, the person only needed to forgive three times. After all a person is not better than God. If forgiving three times was not good enough for God is good enough for Peter and all mankind.
Peter might have thought that extending forgiveness twice as much as what the rabbi thought was being very generous and that Jesus would commend him for going beyond the rabbinic teaching. But no.
Let me just say that I am personally glad but forgiveness does not stop with three times.
We must learn there is no debt that is so large that it cannot be forgiven, there is no limit to the number of times someone should be forgiven, and forgiveness must come from the heart.
It is here we see, haven’t been forgiven ourselves we are to forgive others. It is also here that we learned that unforgiveness is dealt with Hartley by God.
It seems that Peter went looking for a number. How many times should I forgive you? What was the legal or required number of times that Peter needed to forgive? Most people have a limit with regards to forgiveness.
Peter with wanting to know acceptable my breaking point for extending forgiveness.
Forgiveness is more than just a number, but rather it’s a matter of the heart.
However, that is not how we act or live at times. For many, there is a limit to the size of that or the number of times. Thank the Lord, the number of times matters a little to God and the size of the debt matter little to God.
“ The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Every father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him” (Psalm 103:8-13).
Jesus: The Ultimate Example Of Forgiveness
Jesus hung on the cross, suspended between heaven and earth; all man’s sins placed upon him; past, present and future sins. This is when Jesus said this:
“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots” (Luke 23:24).
Jesus, God one and only Son, sought forgiveness for those who nailed him to the cross. The one Jesus wanted to extend forgiveness towards where the one who also drove to nails and to his hands and feet. The one who had no idea that they had just crucified the Son of God.”
Jesus also had in mind forgiveness for you and me. It was because of our sins that Jesus went to the cross. It was a debt that we could never pay ourselves.
For god so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Forgot did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s One and only Son.John 3:16-18
This is the message of the Gospel, in simple terms.
It is out of love, mercy, and grace of God that we can and do experience forgiveness of sin.
“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, who sins are covered. Blessed is the one who sin the Lord will not count against him” -Romans 4:7-8).
We will never be able to atone for our sins ourselves. The death of our sins is too great.